African Americans and those with a low socio-economic status have higher levels of parkinsonism, according to a report.
The most common cause of parkinsonism, which involves slow movement, tremors and rigidity, is Parkinson's disease.
Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, found that African Americans and poorer people with the condition have more severe symptoms and greater disability.
Published in the Archives of Neurology, the study also found distinctions in treatment plans, with African Americans being prescribed fewer Parkinson's medications at their first clinic visit but more receiving antipsychotic medications.
"The results of this study suggest we need to better understand the cause of parkinsonism and to find remedies for disparate outcomes among patients with parkinsonian disease who are of different backgrounds and means," wrote the authors.
Meanwhile, Parkinson's UK has commissioned an investigation on the benefits of the Nintendo Wii on those with the disease after receiving extensive positive feedback about the games console.